October 15, 2018

Here’s the next new gadget in your long list of unnecessary gadgets


Picture this: 

You’re packing for a week-long trip to a new location, and you’re already stuffed to the gills with clothes and amenities to make your stay as pleasant as possible. But, wait! You want to work on that fifty-thousand-word novel you’ve been trying to finish. Your laptop is too clunky and there isn’t quite enough space to carry that unwieldy 15-inch device around. Now what?

Introducing the Freewrite Traveler, from the creators at Astrohaus, for the writer-on-the-go. A lightweight version of the original Freewrite, the Traveler is a sleek processor designed solely for writing, and is currently on Indiegogo for $279. After the campaign, the gadget will retail at a steeper $599.

The Traveler, designed only for writing, means zero distractions for the intrepid writer. Nary an app or a game in sight in its hardware, the processor allows for “four weeks on one charge” and minimal editing functions. It’s not the ideal accessory for research-intensive writing, but for the writer who wants to sit down and just jot down first-come thoughts, this machine seems to be the winner in mind.

So, is it worth shelling out the big bucks for a glorified typewriter?

In the age of a disruption-filled world, there are equally as many apps and programs available to keep any interruptions at bay. If your biggest worry is having your attention drawn away from your work, perhaps try closing all other programs and sitting in a quiet area. If your eyes happen to wander onto Facebook, then maybe try focus-apps like the StayFocusd extension or the SelfControl app that can actually prevent you from opening up the programs and websites that call for those wonderful distractions. Or, hey, not everyone works on with Mac OS, so here are 10 more online apps for focus to choose from.*

Best of all, they’re all free.

But, if even apps aren’t enough for you to get working on that next Pulitzer, maybe it’s time to retire to good old pen-and-paper and exile yourself from all technological distraction in the great outdoors, Thoreau-style. 


*Incidentally, you could just turn off Wi-Fi altogether and write, but we understand it’s hard not to have that lifeline open.




Erica Huang is former Melville House intern.